Sin, to one who loves God, is nothing other than an arrow from the enemy in battle. The true Christian is a warrior fighting his way through the regiments of the unseen enemy to his heavenly homeland. According to the word of the Apostle, our homeland is in heaven and about the warrior he says, our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spirits of wickedness under heaven, (Eph 6:12). The vain desires of this world separate us from our homeland; love of them, and habit, clothes our soul as if in a hideous garment. This is called by the Apostles, “the outward man.”
We, traveling on the journey of this life and calling on God to help us, ought to be divesting ourselves of this hideous garment and clothing ourselves in new desires, in a new love of the age to come, and thereby to receive knowledge of how near or how far we are from our heavenly homeland. But it is not possible to do this quickly; rather one must follow the example of sick people, who, wishing the desired health, do not leave off seeking means to cure themselves.
— St Herman of Alaska